tv NBC Bay Area News at 11 NBC October 11, 2017 11:00pm-11:35pm PDT
north bay. strong winds.. e . right now at 11:00, another dangerous turn of events in the north bay, strong winds are picking up tonight and making a bad situation even worse for fire fights, evacuees and people across the bay area in terms of our air quality. >> new evacuations this evening. you can see calistoga looks like a ghost town. it's one of many communities people have been ordered to get out and stay out.
good evening thanks for joining us i'm raj mathai. >> i'm jessica aguirre. evacuation orders continue to change by the minute. here's the latest on the fires. 23 people now dead. 13 of the victims from sonoma county. a new round of people out of their homes this evening. in total more than 20,000 people have been forced to evacuate over the last few days and the strong wind which helped fuel the fires on sunday are again climbing, threatening to make conditions more challenging for firefighters. >> here's a look at the largest fires burning right now. you can see just how widespread, across wine country here and into the fairfield area. let's show you those evacuation orders parts of kwiezerville, calistoga with sonoma. this is now our fourth consecutive night of families
escaping the flames. we begin with cheryl hurd in calisto calistoga. >> well, calistoga is known for its shopping and night life but no night life tonight here. only evacuation and people are taking it seriously. there may be people locked inside their calistoga homes tonight but if they dare to venture outside, there's a good possibility they'll be confronted by law enforcement. chp officers checking id, making sure people who are on the street during this mandatory evacuation live in calistoga. by night fall, the town looked empty. a handwritten sign addressed to firefighters, please save our homes. word this is resident can
sympathize with. >> take all the stuff you need to is to stay with you, extra batteries as well. >> earlier tonight, the oakland police department helping calistoga fire with the evacuation. >> we are working our way through these residential streets and we're notifying citizens of the evacuation order. >> reporter: an order dereck bowen is taking serious. >> we have pictures, paperwork, things like that. >> reporter: frightened? >> yes, definitely scary. >> reporter: it is scary bauds many people are watching what these wildfires can do. no word when the evacuation will be lifted. i guess it depends what happens overnight. i'm cheryl hurd live nbc bay area news.
she began tweeting updates like these evacuees putting what they could in their car and taking off. that is the big question what will happen overnight? what will the wind do next? we'll have an answer, or could, in about two hours from now. let's bring in jeff ranieri. what are you tracking right now. >> it looks like the early morning hours is when we have the potential for the winds gusting home. the red flag warning until 5:00 p.m. on thursday. and the key zone we could see 20 to 40 miles per hour wind gusts would be the hills above 1,000 feet, that's the north bay, east bay and also the south bay. right now things are picking up and it's gusty enough it could blow embers off to the south, 8 mile an hour winds pushing to the south. not only the wind but the smoke. so a closer look at the wind shows 2:30 in the morning will
likely see a gust up to 22 in napa. that could be one of our highest, maybe not quite as high as santa rosa at and then at 7:00, 7:30 in the morning it looks like napa could be the zone with the higher gusts. you have to go to 1,000 feet and higher to maybe get 40 miles per hour winds. i'm encouraging everyone that lives near the fires get a compass and look at it. if you're in the north that's the danger zones. that's where the embers could fly off. thank you. jeff. new video tonight of more tense moments. this is in sonoma county, this is in geyserville, nbc's jean elle joins us live from there. and evacuations have been under way all evening.
>> reporter: they are. we are one town over from guyserville, the concern is this wind will push the pocket fire into homes, which is something that happens with the cubs fire in santa rosa. flames tear through dry brush in santa rosa, threatening homes on pond rosa avenue. right outside living room windows. >> these guys are doing an amazing job. >> reporter: sam is grateful firefighters held a line along the back yard, an intense battle against the tubbs fire that has been playing out for days and is expected to continue. new mandatory evacuations and advisories are in effect as the pocket fire gains momentum. >> i don't understand why you have two cars -- >> reporter: emotions are running high as residents run
into roadblocks. road bloks mean it's time to go. >> there's not enough room for fire engines and traffic. i understood that, but it was scary to see that. >> jenna mcdanl is watching the fire on the ridge of geyserville, tonight she's taking her baby out of the danger zone. emergency workers do not want people taking any chances. the wind is picking up, can push those flames quickly, making the situation very unpredictable and dangerous. firefighters are watching and waiting. >> can you see that orange glow behind you. curfews remain in effect in the evacuation area gs of santa rosa. that means no one is allowed in the area from sun down to sun rise. skyranger is over the coffee park neighborhood.
that's left nothing but ashes. officials say residents should not try to go in there until they're told it's safe to do so. >> all those people living near sonoma square -- >> reporter: the fire made progress this evening and that's one of the reasons why the sonoma county sheriff's department issued a mandatory evacuation for a large swath of the area just east of here. immediately following the evacuation ordereds, police officers and sheriff's deputies began notifying residents the fire is close enough to pose a threat people need to get out of the area. in the city of napa some residents who escaped a couple days ago are under another evacuation advisory.
>> the location we're living as our evacuation point is going to be evacuated. >> when fire swept through dan's neighborhood sunday night he had a few minutes to escape and take the barest essentials. >> outside our window is a glowing red sky. >> reporter: during the community update for residents of napa, the room was packed. some are concerned because they still can't go back to their home, others want to know basic information, like the safest escape route to take. >> the route we're required to take could be a different route, which could be more gas consumption so i'm going to top off my gas tank now. >> with so many fires burning it's not clear where to go. >> i was planning to go to calistoga because i have a ranch there however calistoga's been
evacuated. >> reporter: especially concerned because they have the patrick family burning just to the west and then they have the massive atlas fire burning just to the east. so authorities are telling people to make sure if they are ordered to evacuate, not just to pay attention to the evacuation, but where the fire is burning so they have a safe way to get out. reporting live, i'm sergio quintana. that's what our chief meteorologist jeff ranieri is referring to even with the compass on your phone find out which way the flames are coming from. thousands of parents in the north and east bay are scrambling to find arrangements for their children, perhaps through friday. there's no school tomorrow. 150,000 students are told to stay home because of this, a poor air quality, not just in napa county and sonoma county, but also sew la know, community
colleges and sonoma state have cancelled classes. outdoor sports activities are also cancelled. we posted a complete list of closures on our website nbc bay area.com. the question tonight what started the inferno. clues we've uncovered about the devastating fires. and. >> here in napa county, five people surrounded by flames, only four can be rescued. the story of the man who risked his life to save his family. winds beginning to pick up out of the north 8 to 15 miles per hour, that's strong enough to blow embers we'll tell you about winds that may reach 40 miles per hour and when we may get just a little bit of rainfall. that's coming up at 11:20 tonight.
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calistoga, middletown and parts of fairfield...desola these are live pictures as we continue to track these deadly fires, calistoga, middlefield empty now. as people are watching to see which direction the flames are going. these are pictures from geyserville, which is 20 miles north of santa rosa. mandatory evacuation there. but we've seen smoke and flame build up over the last several hours. fire fighting on the front lines and investigating behind the scenes. cal fire is also looking into what started the fires. >> our investigative unit is digging through a the records. we're joined now with what we've found so far. >> we listened to dispatch
recordings and found numerous reports of downed electrical equipment, starting at 9:20 sunday evening. now cal fire is taking a closer look as we're all starting to get a better idea of what led to this disaster. >> there's a vegetation fire. >> this was one of the first calls that came in to sonoma county fire dispatches, 9:22 p.m. >> electrical investigations 1047 maverick court. >> less than a minute later, avenue electrical investigation. >> possible transformer explosion. >> a minute after that, reports of a transformer explosion. records show in the next few hours, they sent crews to at least 10 locations with blown transformers or downed power
lines. and in some cases trees into power lines. >> we need to find out what the cause of the fires were. >> state senator jerry hill has been critical of the way they maintain their power equipment. >> the utility is supposed to make sure these lines are safe, the trees are safe and there's no contact or potential for that. if this proves to be case, we have serious problems. >> cal fire doesn't know for certain if pg&e's equipment caused a role. but they tell us they're fanned out looking for causes, including possibly links to power lines. in the middle of so much tragedy. we have a story about a heroic rescue and an emotional reunion. a father who thought he was saying good-bye to his wife and child for the last time. terry mcsweeney joins us from the napa airport with a silver lining in all this.
>> reporter: sunday night, on top of atlas peak five members of the tomio family find themselves surrounded by flames. there's a rescue helicopter but not enough room for everybody. someone has to stay behind. an emotional reunion tonight that almost didn't happen. pilot pete gavin looked out of his chopper towards atlas peak. >> it looked like a nuclear bomb had went out. >> they raced to the rescue and spotted the family trapped. they knew it was life or death. >> you get out or cook. >> they're a family of five and the helicopter could only fit four. >> pepe insisted he stay behind. >> it was like we were the titanic, and he's saying take my family and go. >> his son, jesse, wife and her
parents were safe. pepe was alone, surrounded by fire. >> i called my daughter and brother, and said if i don't see you again, remember i love you. that was it. >> so when we returned to that landing zone, pepe was gone. and my heart dropped. >> reporter: the chp chopper game back again and spotted him. >> it was close. it was really close. >> reporter: they lost their home in the fire, pepe went back up to atlas peak yesterday to see what had become of his car and his dog he left inside. the car wasn't touched, the dog alive and well. terry mcsweeney, nbc bay area news. >> thank you, terry. most of us are not near the fire but we can see and smell the smoke. it is everywhere. this is a live look at san francisco. with the sun down you can see the haze blanketing the city.
ian cull has more on that unhealthy air spilling across the area. >> reporter: the smoke is drowning out the sun. >> we're seeing elevated levels of particulate matter that are higher than we've ever seen since we began measuring that in 2000. >> recesses are held indoors, soccer practice cancelled. >> we have kids from 7:00 years old up to 19. so we try to keep the best interest of the children in mind. >> reporter: air quality specialists say it's unhealthy for sensitive groups, people with asthma, the elderly and kids. parents waiting for it to clear up. >> we waited until the last minute. >> reporter: the forecast thursday and over the weekend, unhealthy for everyone and it could take several days to clear out. >> this is not the thing you want people running and
breathing in. >> reporter: officials say to try to stay inside of a place with filtered air. and if you have to be outside, get one of these masks that has an n 95 on the side of it. it will per take you from those paratick lates. >> thank you, ian. as we told you, a lot of schools are cancelled tomorrow, especially up in the north bay. sfl had to cancel flights because of low visibility. all that smoke making it hard to see. so far no delays or cancellations in oakland or san jose. that will remain to see if it changes given the changing weather conditions. >> let's bring in meteorologist jeff ranieri to talk about this. >> we're still looking at the wind picking up, once we hit 2 to 7:00 a.m., really any kind of wind, 5 to 15 miles per hour that could blow some embers from the seven fires we have burning
throughout the north bay. the largest the atlas fire, 42,000 acres. so current check of the winds right now we're seeing it anywhere between 18 to 14 miles per hour. it's still coming out of the north, so it's continually blowing smoke down. and this is good enough to keep that fire danger extremely high. you get an ember moving 8 to 14 miles per hour and that can travel quite a bit and start more fires. that's why we're asking you to stay on alert. red flag fire warning until 5:00 p.m. on thursday. and the zone we could see the 20 miles per hour wind gusts you have to go up 1,000 feet or higher. you know who you are. if you're there, you have to be vigilant. and f you're asked to evacuate, please do so.
this is the possible wind gusts for tomorrow. you can see, possibility some of the higher gusts at napa, and 13 in santa rosa. anywhere from 5 to 15 here from san francisco down to san jose. again, 2:30 in the morning. as we head through 7:30 in the morning it looks like napa also santa rosa with some higher gusts at sea level. this is what we look at for the majority of the people but if you live at 1,000 feet you could get 20 mile per hour wind gusts. what about the smoke? we saw the stories about the poor air quality. i think tomorrow with the northerly wind we're going to continue to see the smoke plumes blow smoke down the north bay. and unhealthy through the next few days.
if you suffer from these smoke issues, get a breathing mask. keep your ac on recirculate in the car, limit your outdoor exposure. those are the best things you can do. temperatures in the 70s through most of the bay area. when could we see things improve with the air quality possibility by sunday night, monday and tuesday. and then by wednesday, a storm system and maybe by next thursday we could see trace amounts. the american and gfs long range models both show that chance. a little girl loses her home and independence. but a local company is coming to her rescue. the touching story is next. >> happening now on our website. we updated places you can drop off donations for the thousands of people impacted, basic items
like food, water, baby clothes and pet food. nbc bay area.com has all the details. back in a moment. red flag warning á as the wind picks up overnight our crews will be on the ground, tracking the wildfires - tearing through wine country. for every development, as news breaks, join us (now ( on nbc-bay-area-dot-com. and (tomorrow ( morning on ♪ because everyone likes easy. sure do. because everyone is on the go.
animals were brought i as you can imagine, it's been a busy day at the napa county animal shelter. more than 200 animals were brought in today. mostly people who were forced to evacua evacuate. dogs, cats, la mas, goats. about 20 of the animals were found roaming in the fire area. the shelter is trying to reunite them. a santa rosa girl lost her ability to walk. her prosthetic legs were in her
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the raiders to cut raiders headquarters in alameda, the dangerous air quality forced them to cut short practice today. they were scheduled to play the chargers in oakland on sunday that will happen but practice cut down by 30 minutes. >> even stanford is supposed to play saturday night. the raiders as well as our other proteams, the raiders joining forces with the 49ers, athletic, sharks, warriors, together they are donating $450,000 to the victims. they also started a you care sight you can find that on our website at north bay bay area.com. ♪
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field. we are awaiting the national guard to touchdown any moment now 120 men and women will be coming in from california. they'll be deployed immediately into the fire zone. we have a crew there until they arrive. >> as we head into the overnight hour, the death toll 23, 20,000 people evacuated, fires broke out on sunday. the latest evacuation areas, and we have crews throughout the bay area covering this. [ cheers and applause ] ♪ >> steve: from studio 6b in rockefeller center in the heart of new york city, it's "the tonight show starring jimmy fallon." tonight, join jimmy and his guests -- margot robbie -- stephen moyer --